Russia agents foil terrorism plot in Sochi

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Russia agents foil terrorism plot in Sochi

From Comcast SportsNet
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian agents have foiled terror attack plans on the Black Sea resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Games, the country's secret service said Thursday. Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said the secret service agency FSB had discovered ten caches of weapons and ammunition on May 4 and May 5 in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia, a region near Sochi. The arms seized included portable surface-to-air missiles, grenade launchers, flame throwers, grenades, rifles and explosives, it said. Authorities said the terrorists were planning to smuggle the explosives and arms to Sochi "between 2012 and 2014 in order to use them during the preparations and during the games." They did not elaborate on how they came to this conclusion. Sochi is less than dozen miles away from Russia's border with Abkhazia, a tiny region on the Black Sea that declared independence from Georgia in 2008. Few countries other than Russia have supported its independence. Georgia and Russia, both former Soviet republics, had a brief but intense war in 2008 and are still very distrustful of each other. The FSB said it suspects the attacks targeting Sochi were being masterminded by Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, whom it alleges has close ties to Georgia's secret service. Umarov has previously claimed responsibility for the 2011 deadly bombing in a Moscow airport that killed 35 people. However, Shota Khizanishvili, chief of staff at Georgia's Interior Ministry, denied any links between Georgia and Umarov. "I can only say that the National Anti-Terrorist Committee is staffed with people with peculiar fantasies," Khizanishvili told The Associated Press. "They're always trying to accuse Georgia and its secret services of everything in any situation and without any grounds. This is a sign of a severe paranoia." Sochi's selection as the host of the 2014 Winter Games had sparked fears of possible terrorist activity, although no attacks have occurred so far. The city is located in the same area as Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, which is plagued with near-daily violence linked to an Islamist insurgency that spread from the province of Chechnya to neighboring areas in the late 1990s.

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Redskins take TE Jeremy Sprinkle with fifth-round pick

Redskins take TE Jeremy Sprinkle with fifth-round pick

The Redskins have added a tight end to their draft list, taking Jeremy Sprinkle out of Arkansas in the fifth round.

Sprinkle, 6-5, 252, had a solid senior season for the Razorbacks but it did not end well. He had 33 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He helped Arkansas make the Belk Bowl. However, after getting a gift card to the sponsoring department store a few days before the game, Sprinkle took more merchandise than the $450 card would pay for and he was cited for shoplifting. That got him suspended for the bowl game.

“It was a big disappointment for everybody around me,” said Sprinkle when asked about the incident on a conference call with reporters. “I’ve done everything I need to do [to resolve the legal issues] and I’m just trying to move past it.

There are players with worse offenses on teams’ draft boards and this one is just dumb and not violent. However, it does bring the player’s judgement into questions.

Scouts think that he can add some weight onto his frame and become a textbook blocking tight end, something that Jay Gruden said the team is looking for. Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are productive pass catchers but they could use a blocking tight end and that could a role for Sprinkle to grow in to.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Celtics' Isaiah Thomas dealing with tough times, travel before Game 1 vs. Wizards

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas dealing with tough times, travel before Game 1 vs. Wizards

The unfortunate situation involving a death in the family for Celtics star point guard Isaiah Thomas continues, as following Boston's series clinching win over the Bulls on Friday night Thomas flew back to the state of Washington for the funeral of his late sister, Chyna.

Thomas will then have to fly all the back across the country to Boston for Game 1 on Sunday, which happens to be a very early start at 1 p.m. Thomas has already been dealing with unimaginable pain and emotion. Now he will have a very difficult travel schedule on top of it.

“Tomorrow is a lot more important than Sunday,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said, according to CSNNE. “It’s difficult (turnaround), but it’s a basketball game. He’ll be ready to play. And if he decides when he gets there it’s too much, that’s OK. That’s fine. This (being with his family) is a lot more important.”

[RELATED: Wall may have played the best game for a Wizards player in generations]

As Stevens says, Thomas is not going to miss any games. But this is clearly a very tough time for him.

Chyna died in a car accident on April 15, just one day before the Celtics began their playoff run against the Chicago Bulls. Thomas appeared in all six games of the Celtics-Bulls playoff series, but was fighting back tears before Game 1 and last week said that "mentally and emotionally, I'm not here."

The Wizards and Celtics having to pick back up so quickly after their Game 6 victories on Friday is not ideal for either team. But for Thomas, it's particularly challenging.

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